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What is the 'small claims limit' and why does it matter to me?

View profile for Kate Sweeney
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The way that personal injury cases are handled is changing.

Up until now, anyone who suffered an injury through an accident or the negligence of another - and where potential compensation for that injury was above £1,000 - they would be entitled to recover any legal fees. This meant that the cost of hiring a solicitor would be paid back by the person responsible for the injury.

Now, under government plans, the limit at which a person can claim back their legal costs will be increased to £5,000.

'Difficult Choices'

A number of people – including me and my colleagues – are worried about the effect this change will have on those who suffer severe or life-changing injuries. Broken bones, soft tissue injuries, scarring and trauma are all common injuries in cases where the compensation is less than £5,000. Under the new proposals, those people would not be entitled to claim their legal costs, slashing the amount of money available to get their life back to normal.

It will mean that anyone considering making a claim will have to make difficult choices. Do they employ the services of a legal expert, greatly increasing their chances of success, but receiving a significantly reduced settlement? Or, do they take the enormous risk of proceeding without a solicitor in the hope they can represent themselves and keep their whole settlement?

'Daunting and Difficult'

For the inexperienced, facing a court case alone is a daunting and difficult task. The legal process for personal injury is complicated and requires expert knowledge of each of the stages involved. Thousands of injured people could be forced to take on highly trained and skilled opponents, alone, both before and during the court process.

Stephensons is committed protecting access to justice, wherever possible. We believe that legal representation should be available to all who need it.

Make your voice heard

We have made our opinion clear to the government by opposing these changes. You can too.

To register your opposition to the ‘New Personal Injury Small Claims Limit’, simply visit ‘WriteToThem.com’ and email your MP. The whole process takes no more than a few minutes.

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